Futures Positive Despite Weak Jobs Picture

US stock market futures pointed to a higher open for Wall Street on Thursday as the Greek parliament was expected to pass a second crucial vote to introduce 28 billion euros of spending cuts, tax hikes and privatizations.

Futures were affected little by the latest does of weakness from the jobs market. The Labor Department reported 428,000 new jobless claims filing, more than the expected 420,000 and indicating continued weakness in the vital part of the economy.

In other economic news, the Institute of Supply Management Chicago releases the June index of manufacturing activity at 8.45 am in New York. Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a June reading of 54.0 compared with 56.6 in May.

Standard & Poor’s warned that it will slash America’s credit rating to selective default if Congress fails to reach agreement on the Budget deficit and debt ceiling and misses its debt payment on August 4.

Thursday marks the end of the Federal Reserve's second round of money-printing, or quantitative easing (QE2), with the Fed ending its $600 billion bond-buying program; the central bank gave no information as to whether there would be more monetary easing in the future.

In company news News Corporation announced the sale of the loss - making MySpace to Specific Media for $35 million. In the UK, the government passed News Corp's bid to buy out the remainder of satellite broadcaster BSkyB, rejecting competition complaints.

Credit card companies Visa and Mastercard gave back some of their huge gains in Wednesday's session after the Federal Reserve agreed to a higher-than-expected cap of 22 centson debit card transactions. Both companies saw trading in their shares briefly halted after they both gained more than 10 percent, reaching upside limits and tripping market circuit breakers.

Shares in both companies slipped less than 1 percent in premarket trading.